Featured content fails

Posted: September 23, 2014 in Marketing, Social Media
Tags: , ,

(c) 2014 Lincoln De Kalb LinkedIn have done a great job with Pulse. How do I know? Because I never get past the first page of the feed. I get stuck on the Pulse news and end up chewing through my time reading the very interesting articles.

I’m assuming the articles are tailored and it’s in this that they excel. Clever articles that are very rarely from people that i’m following but always on topic. Today I have articles on leadership, innovations and mobile related content.

There’s a striking difference when I compare it against some of the other social sites featured content. In most cases the featured content is uselessly after the fact or needlessly repetitious.

Take for instance Facebook. Right now the featured content is all about buying or investing in property – great content if I was looking but since I bought a place almost a year back it’s largely irrelevant. There can’t be that many professional investors for this algorithm to be of benefit!

Amazon has some smarts in their featured content and arguably one of the most talked about. The cleverness comes in capturing your searches then feeding back to you (over and over) related content. Works great for books where related content might be useful for further reading or upsells, but it’s not so good with butter boats.

I bought a butter boat almost 2 years ago from Amazon and without fail every personalised email or featured content contains some reference to a butter boat. I’ve already got one, why do I need another one?

Twitter is nearly the winner in my featured content fail contest. I’ll give it to them that it is quite often relevant either to my general feed or the hashtag feed I but I don’t need to see the same featured content over and over in my feed. I’ve seen it once, I didn’t act on it, maybe show it to me again but there’s only so many times I need to see a betting agencies featured content on my football hashtag feed!

This might sound like a whinge against advertising but I assure you it’s not. I understand advertising is an integral part of commerce and I often learn about new products from advertising. What I’m complaining about, and recognising LinkedIn for their great implementation of, is personalised content that is just wrong, over bearing or behind the times.

Personalisation is tough. Predictive personalisation is even harder. But if it’s not done right now it’ll blur into the background much like Google’s sponsored or paid for ad’s!

Do you have any great examples of when you have looked at the advertising and though “that’s not right”?

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